Leek and butterbean soup


A hearty soup recipe by Hafiz.

leek & butterbean soup

It is possible to buy tins of butterbeans from the supermarket, but I much prefer to cook my own – preferably organic beans, which I find have a most satisfying texture and flavour. You will need a pressure cooker for this – but, as a bonus, you will be able to use the cooking broth as the basis for your soup.

A half kilo of dried butterbeans will, on cooking, become round about 1.2 kg, drained weight. Whatever is not used in your soup may be placed in bags of appropriate size and frozen – for later use, for example, in a mixed bean salad.

325 g cooked butterbeans, preferably organic
400 g leeks (approx. 250 g when trimmed and washed)
250 g carrots
250 g swede
250 g parsnips
2 sticks celery
1 red pepper
3 garlic cloves
½” piece ginger root
3 Tbs rapeseed oil or similar
1 tsp each fennel and dill seeds
1 tsp each dried rosemary, basil, marjoram
½ tsp dried thyme
2 bayleaves, torn
1 Tbs tamari
Salt, black pepper

Soak the butterbeans overnight in sufficient water for them to triple in size. Next day, drain, then replace the water, using a pressure cooker. On boiling, set the pressure weight, and cook for 40 minutes or so before removing from the heat. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables.

Trim the leeks, removing any green and grungy stalks. Slice the leeks into rings about half a centimeter thick, all the way up the stalk until the green tops begin. Keep the tops for the compost! Wash the leeks well, tossing them around in water to dislodge any lingering dirt, then drain.

Peel the swede, parsnips and carrots, then cut into small dice. Cut the red pepper and celery into equivalent-sized pieces. All these vegetables can be placed together in a bowl. Finely chop the garlic and ginger with some salt.

Heat the oil in a medium-sized (3 litre) pan over a medium flame, then add the leeks. Keep stirring from time to time; after about seven minutes you may notice the aroma developing, which can be your signal to add the remaining vegetables, plus the seeds. Keep it all moving for a few more minutes; add the chopped ginger and garlic and the seeds; keep stirring so that the vegetables cook evenly.

Add the butterbeans, together with as much broth / water as seems appropriate. Add the herbs and tamari, bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Check the seasoning, and serve, garnished with chopped parsley, should you have some handy.

The Magic Cookbook onlineAs published on Hafiz’s website Magic Cookbook Online.  
Hafiz has been compiling an online database of the many vegetarian recipes he has written over the course of his catering career. It’s a work in progress – though recent additions to his repertoire are necessarily all gluten-free. Here’s a link to the Gluten-Free! page.

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